Hilliers' previews its 2009 RHS Chelsea Flower Show entry

Hillier Nurseries' bid for a 64th gold medal at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show will portray a journey through the different stages of a gardener's life.

The starting point for Hillier managing director Andy McIndoe's design will be the first garden of a homeowner, including "cutting edge" architectural and Mediterreanean plants, figs and olives as a nod to the grow-your-own trend.

The display will graduate into "Swinging Suburbia", representing a time people move into new-builds, and will then change into a child-friendly garden.

The Garden Design era section will be the largest area, representing the style of a person who is doing well financially during the prime of their career.

Towards the end will be the "Losing the Plot" section, featuring easy-maintenance plants, such as Sarcococca and Cistus ‘Sunset', which someone in their retirement would use to cope with increasing frailty.

McIndoe said: "This type of garden - for people downsizing after retirement - is the kind I get asked about most by customers. Sometimes easy maintenance plants are seen as negative but you can do great things with them."

The final part of the garden will be jokingly named "Pushing up the Daisies", representing the final journey that we all make.

The Chelsea display will tie in with the publication in the spring of McIndoe's book Losing the Plot. It will be the first in a series of books aimed at gardeners at specific stages of their lives.

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